Posts Tagged ‘ Andrew Norman

Composers Festival spotlight: Andrew Norman

Along with Hans Abrahamsen, the Mizzou New Music Initiative is pleased to welcome Andrew Norman as one of our two distinguished guest composers for the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

Currently an assistant professor of composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, Norman (pictured) is a graduate of Yale and the University of Southern California. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the 2006 Rome Prize and the 2009 Berlin Prize, and in 2012 was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his string trio “The Companion Guide to Rome.”

Norman has served as composer-in-residence for Young Concert Artists in New York and for the Heidelberg Philharmonic, and currently is composer-in-residence for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship Program.

Along with music, Norman has a notable interest in architecture – he even considered pursuing it as a career – and that interest is reflected in his use of visual patterns and textures as inspirations for his compositions, as well as in an enthusiasm for musical notation, both historic and experimental. It came out even more explicitly in his recent work “Frank’s House,” which was inspired directly by the Santa Monica residence of famed architect Frank Gehry and was premiered earlier this year by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Norman’s music has been recognized by the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors,” the Boston Globe for its “staggering imagination,” and the Los Angeles Times for its “Chaplinesque” wit. His symphonic works have been performed by ensembles around the world, including the Los Angeles, New York, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonics, the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the BBC, Saint Louis, and Melbourne Symphonies, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, the Orchestre National de France, and many others.

For more about Andrew Norman, you can read his 2014 interview with New Music Box, and listen to him on a 2014 episode of WQXR’s “Meet the Composer.”

(You can hear some samples of Andrew Norman’s music in the YouTube players embedded below.)

The Companion Guide to Rome

Excerpt from “Frank’s House”

“Play: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3” & “Try”

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to highlight works
by Hans Abrahamsen, Andrew Norman in concert
on Sunday, April 26 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will highlight works from the two guest composers for this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) in a concert at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 26 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus. Admission is free for Mizzou students, $5 suggested donation for the general public.

The concert will feature performances of “Zwei Schneetänze,” two works by Dutch composer Hans Abrahamsen from 1985 that foreshadow his extended tour-de-force “Schnee,” and four movements of “The Companion Guide to Rome,” written by Andrew Norman in 2010 as a musical evocation of Roman landmarks.

Abrahamsen is one of Europe’s leading composers and a member of the “New Simplicity” movement. His major awards include the Carl Nielsen Prize and the Wilhelm Hansen Composer Prize, and his works been performed by European orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic. Norman is an assistant professor of composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, and currently is composer in residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia.

Both men will be guest composers at the 2015 MICF, which will take place from Monday, July 20 through Saturday July 25 in Columbia.

The April 26 concert also will include a 2012 piece written by a former resident composer for the MICF, as well as two brand new, poetically inspired works from Mizzou composition students.

David Biedenbender’s “Grit” is described as “an aggressive work dedicated to the composer’s sister-in-law’s battle with cancer.” Biedenbender, who was a resident composer at the 2012 Mizzou International Composers Festival and now teaches composition at Boise State University, will be in the audience for this performance.

“The Year 1861” by Mizzou freshman Dustin Dunn was inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name about the Civil War, while junior Trey Makler’s “Sonette an Orpheus” is a “colorful and vibrant” setting of a Ranier Maria Rilke sonnet. Makler’s composition will be conducted by Mizzou junior Travis Herd, and features a guest performance by baritone Sam Wright.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; Jose Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.

Mizzou New Music Ensemble to perform
new works by visiting and student composers
Sunday, March 8 at Whitmore Recital Hall

The Mizzou New Music Ensemble will play works by two visiting composers and three Mizzou students in their first concert of the new year at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, March 8 in Whitmore Recital Hall, 135 Fine Arts Building on the University of Missouri campus.

Admission is free for Mizzou students, faculty, and staff with MU ID, $5 for the general public, with tickets available at the door.

The Ensemble (pictured) will perform “The Gargoyles of Notre Dame” by Andrew List, who will be visiting the Mizzou campus that week to work with them, as well as select movements of “The Companion Guide to Rome” by Andrew Norman, who will be one of two guest composers at this summer’s Mizzou International Composers Festival in July.

List, a professor of composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, writes music in many different genres and has received numerous commissions and performances from professional music ensembles and solo artists in the United States and Europe.

Norman is an assistant professor of composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He has won wide acclaim for his chamber and orchestral works, most recently “Play,” which was described as “a sprawling, engulfing, furiously unpredictable piece” by critic Alex Ross of The New Yorker.

The three student works to be performed are “Pulsar Phases” by senior composition major David Boullion, which combines his background in jazz with reference to classical music, funk and more; “Adrenaline” by freshman composition major Alex Williams, a work described as “a fast wild ride with unpredictable interruptions along the way”; and “Djole” by MNME clarinetist Jeremiah Rittel, which is inspired by West African drum music.

The seven-member Mizzou New Music Ensemble is made up of University of Missouri graduate students under the direction of Stefan Freund, a cellist, composer and associate professor. The Ensemble’s members for the 2014-15 season are Taylor Burkhardt, piano; Rachel Czech, cello; José Martínez, percussion; Jeremiah Rittel, clarinets; Erin Spencer, flute; Britney Stutz, violin; and Korin Wahl, viola.

In addition, at this concert Mizzou student Jaron Lester will serve as the Ensemble’s guest conductor for David Boullion’s “Pulsar Phases.”

2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival set for July 20 – 25;
Hans Abrahamsen, Andrew Norman named as guest composers

The 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival (MICF) will be held Monday, July 20 through Saturday, July 25 on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia, and will feature Hans Abrahamsen and Andrew Norman as guest composers.

The 2015 MICF will include a series of public concerts presenting music from contemporary composers, as well as workshops, master classes and other events.

Saturday night’s grand finale at the Missouri Theatre will feature the world premieres of new works from each of the festival’s eight resident composers, with the acclaimed new music group Alarm Will Sound, conducted by artistic director Alan Pierson, serving as resident ensemble.

Hans Abrahamsen

Hans Abrahamsen was born in Copenhagen and attended the Royal Danish Academy of Music. A published composer beginning at age 16, Abrahamsen in the early part of his career was considered part of the “New Simplicity” movement that began in the mid-1960s as a reaction to the perceived over-complexity of avant-garde music. Some of his best-known early works include “Winternacht” (1976-78); “Nacht und Trompeten” (1981); and “Zwei Schneetänze” (1985).

Befriending and studying with György Ligeti during the 1980s, Abrahamsen received the Carl Nielsen Prize in 1989 and the Wilhelm Hansen Composer Prize in 1998. After a hiatus from composing, he re-emerged in the new century with a series of major compositions including the extended chamber work “Schnee” (2008), a Double Concerto for violin, piano and strings (2010-11); and “Let me tell you,” for soprano and orchestra, premiered in 2013 by the Berlin Philharmonic.

Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman is a Los Angeles-based composer and teacher at the USC Thornton School of Music. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Yale, Norman “draws on an eclectic mix of instrumental sounds, notational practices, and non-linear narrative structures.” His work has been noted by the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors” and by the Los Angeles Times for its “Chaplinesque” wit.

Norman has been the recipient of numerous commissions, prizes and awards, and his symphonic works have been performed by orchestras including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the BBC Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich. His chamber music has been featured in the Wordless Music Series at Le Poisson Rouge and at the MATA Festival, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Green Umbrella Series, and the Aspen Music Festival.

With the 2015 guest composers confirmed, eight resident composers now will be selected for the MICF through a portfolio application process to create a new work for Alarm Will Sound. During the week of the festival, they’ll get composition lessons from Abrahamsen and Norman and take part in rehearsals with Alarm Will Sound. Each composer also will receive a copy of a professional live recording of his or her work.

The application process for resident composers begins Thursday, October 23, 2014, and the deadline for submitting an application is Monday, November 24, 2014. To help composers save on printing and mailing costs, the MICF this year has moved to an online application process. For more information on applying to become a resident composer for the Mizzou International Composers Festival, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/application.html.

A complete schedule of events, times, dates and venues for the 2015 Mizzou International Composers Festival will be made available at a later date. For more information, please visit http://composersfestival.missouri.edu/.